Groundwork is beginning on what could be the next tall building to rise in Birmingham's city centre.
The Beorma Quarter is a £150 million proposal that includes a 27-storey landmark tower as the centerpiece of a new urban quarter that will offer a total of 60,231 square metres of mixed-use space.
The site, which is right in the heart of Birmingham's commercial centre next to Selfridges, has been masterplanned by Trevor Horne Architects (no relation to the Buggles), with the main 107 metre tall tower consisting largely of offices. This has been penned to fit in with the nearby Rotunda and Selfridges by virtue of the stepped nature of the building presenting a collection of rooflines at the same heights. They will also allow tenants to enjoy skygardens, a unique offering for this part of the country.
Occupying the ground floor of the development, and slotting it into the existing commercial fabric of the area, will be a heavy retail presence, whilst the listed former Victorian Cold Store will be restored offering more bespoke and quirky offices than the main tower.
Adding to the development will be another building, this time on Alison Street and Well Lane that is to be 10-storeys, and is also earmarked for offices. Despite the heavy amount of commercial space, there will be a limited amount of apartments on offer - 15 affordable residential units - and a new hotel.
The first part of the site to see work will be the Cold Store which is to be stripped out according to the guidelines laid down for listed buildings, and is intended to be phase one of the scheme along with the hotel and apartments.
Work however will depend on what happens on the ground - listed buildings can throw up surprises and Salhia Investments, the developer of the Beorma Quarter, is aware that such a construction timetable written in stone can be thrown into disarray by the surprises a historical building can present. Nonetheless, it marks the important first step in what will be a transformative scheme for one of Britain's largest cities.
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